India > History > Vijaynagar Empire

Vijaynagar Empire

Vijaynagar city have a great historical value in India. Vijaynagar Empire was established by two brothers Harihara and Bukka in the middle of 13th century. It continued for three centuries and successfully prevented the influence of Muslim sultanates in the southern India. History of Vijaynagar Empire was an unbroken period of bloody battles with Bahamani and other Muslim sultanates. A wise person Madhav Vidyaranya and his brother Sayana were the inspiring source for the basis of this empire.

Bukka sent a delegation to China in 1374 AD. Bukka was succeded by Harihara II. Harihara II extended his empire almost total of south India, including Mysore, Kanara, Chingalpet, Trichinopally and Kanchivaram. He was a follower of Hindu religious worship to God Shiva but was open-minded to all other religions. He was the first Emperor of Vijaynagar Empire who assumed the title of Maharajadhiraj Rajaparmeshwara.

Krishanadev Raya

Vir Narasimha of Chandragiri rose in power at 1486 AD from the Tuluva dynasty. His younger son Krishanadev Raya was the best ruler of Vijaynagar Empire, he was always unbeaten in the wars throughout his reign. He always treated with the beaten enemy as a friend. He captured southern Mysore, Shivasamudram fort and Raichur in 1511 AD to 1512 AD. After that in 1513 AD, he attacked the king of Orissa Gajapati and in 1514 AD he captured Udaigiri state. He also captured the kindom of Ismail Adil Shah at 19th March in 1520 AD. This finished the Muslim power of southern India and organized a great administration system. He preserved open relationship with Portuguese and granted some concessions to Governor Albuquerque.

Krishanadev had a great interest on the cultural activities. On the reign of the king reached the kingdom to its zenith not only in terms of stretch of the kingdom, but also in terms of progress of literature, music, art and architecture. He himself was an accomplished poet, musician and was fluent in Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada. He wrote a very significant book Amuktamalyada in Telugu. He also emphasized on the development in art and architecture. The famous Hazara temple built during this reign was one of the examples of Hindu Temple architecture. Vithalswami temple is another fine example of the Vijaynagar style of architecture.

Destruction of the City

After the death of king Krishanadev, the kingdom gradually had gone to way of destruction; a number of successors created an inter collision and the kingdom became weaker. In that condition, three Muslim sultanates of Deccan, Bijapur, Ahmadnagar and Golkonda jointly attacked the Vijaynagar city with large number of army near village Tagdi on 23rd January 1565 AD. Vijaynagar king Ram Raya tried to protect his kingdom from the Muslim power but he was unable to prevent them and was beaten very badly.

After the victory, Muslims reached to capital and destroyed everything in front of eyesight. They burned glorious buildings, pavilions and finally the attractive Vithalswami temple. With swords, crowbars and axes they cracked the superb stone sculptures. Never perhaps in history of the world such havoc has been created on so super city. The ruins of Vijaynagar city can be seen today near Hampi in Karnataka which realistically reflects the splendor and opulence during the reigns of Krishanadev Rayas of Vijaynagar city. The battle of Talikota was one of the crucial battles in the history of India. It ruined the Hindu dominance in southern India till rise of Marathas in 17th century.